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  • The Economist

    College has never been so costly and debt-inducing for students. The cost of college tuition has gone up five times faster than inflation in the last thirty years and continues to skyrocket.

    Average graduating college debt is almost $27,000, yet college keep finding new ways to raise costs.

    Not that academia will listen, but The Economist published a great article on how universities can actually cut costs:

    DEREK BOK, a former president of Harvard, once observed that “universities share one characteristic with compulsive gamblers and exiled royalty: there is never enough money to satisfy their desires.” This is a bit hard on compulsive gamblers and exiled royals. America’s universities have raised their fees five times as fast as inflation over the past 30 years. Student debt in America exceeds credit-card debt. Yet still the universities keep sending begging letters to alumni and philanthropists.

    This insatiable appetite for money was bad enough during the boom years. It is truly irritating now that middle-class incomes are stagnant and students are struggling to find good jobs. Hence a flurry of new thinking about higher education. Are universities inevitably expensive? Vance Fried, of Oklahoma State University, recently conducted a fascinating thought experiment, backed up by detailed calculations. Is it possible to provide a first-class undergraduate education for $6,700 a year rather than the $25,900 charged by public research universities or the $51,500 charged by their private peers? He concluded that it is.

    Full article: *The Economist*

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